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Coulson Elder Law
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Your Trusted Advisor on the Elder Care Journey
Your Trusted Advisor on the Elder Care Journey

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Something that is often overlooked, when going through a divorce, is seeking an estate planning attorney to make the appropriate changes to your estate plan. Until your divorce is final you are still married, which could lead to a multitude of assumptions by the law if something happened to you. Ask yourself this question:

Would you want the person who you are parting ways with to be in charge of all of your assets, financial and health care decisions, and inherit half of your estate?

If you are going through a divorce, you need to get your estate plan changed now and not wait until after the divorce is final.

In this Estate Planning Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses another Common Estate Planning Mistake and how failing to change your estate plan while your divorce is pending could lead to unwanted results if something were to happen before the divorce is final.



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Asset preservation planning is helpful for protecting your property and life savings from the potentially devastating cost of long-term care. With life expectancies increasing, the chance of needing long-term care later in life growing, the cost of long-term care increasing, and establishing eligibility for government assistance being made ever more difficult, now is decidedly the time to put an asset protection plan in place. But, the question of uncertainty that pops up, and may even be on your mind:

Is asset preservation planning legal?

In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses asset preservation planning and offers assurance of its legality as a means to protect assets when establishing eligibility for government assistance to help pay for long-term care costs.

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Asset preservation planning is helpful for protecting your property and life savings from the potentially devastating cost of long-term care. With life expectancies increasing, the chance of needing long-term care later in life growing, the cost of long-term care increasing, and establishing eligibility for government assistance being made ever more difficult, now is decidedly the time to put an asset protection plan in place. But, the question of uncertainty that pops up, and may even be on your mind:

Is asset preservation planning legal?

In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses asset preservation planning and offers assurance of its legality as a means to protect assets when establishing eligibility for government assistance to help pay for long-term care costs.

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A Living Trust is an important estate planning document that offers many advantages, including keeping your estate out of probate after you die. However, does a Living Trust protect your assets from long-term care costs? This question gets asked quite frequently and the answer is simply, no it does not.

In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses Living Trusts, their advantages and why having an asset preservation plan as well, is your best option for protecting your life savings from long-term care costs.

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When it comes to second residences and rental property, the Medicaid rules are pretty clear that they aren’t exempt. However, there may be ways to preserve these assets as part of the asset preservation planning process. There are a lot of possible solutions and, although tricky, it just takes the right possible solution matched to the client’s circumstances to deal with these properties and hopefully gain a positive outcome.

In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois Elder Law attorney, continues with the series What You Can and Can’t Keep with Medicaid and discusses second residences and rental property and if they may be considered exempt relative to Medicaid eligibility.

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Generally speaking, both Illinois and Missouri allow an exemption under Medicaid for prepaid funerals. However the rules are very technical and if you are going to purchase a prepaid funeral plan, you really should do that only under the direction and guidance of an experienced elder law attorney.

In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois Elder Law attorney, continues with the series What You Can and Can’t Keep with Medicaid and discusses prepaid funerals and explains the Medicaid rules concerning the exemption allowed in both Illinois and Missouri when applying for eligibility.

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When determining asset limits for Medicaid, married applicants have something unique available to them called the community spouse resource allowance. Basically, what that refers to is the amount of otherwise non-exempt assets that the rules allow the spouse who is not in the nursing home to keep. This is great news for Illinois and Missouri applicants, as it allows a lot of room for planning within the rules to get the best results.

In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois Elder Law attorney, continues with the series What You Can and Can’t Keep with Medicaid and explains the Medicaid community spouse resource allowance and discusses the asset limits for married applicants in both Illinois and Missouri.

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Currently, the asset limits for a single or widowed Medicaid applicant in Illinois and Missouri are the same, $2,000. But, that will soon change in Missouri as they will begin increasing their limit by $1,000 per year until the asset limit reaches $5,000, then it will be indexed to inflation. These limits affect the non-exempt assets you may have. So, the important question becomes, “What does Medicaid define as a non-exempt asset?”

In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois Elder Law attorney, continues with the series What You Can and Can’t Keep with Medicaid and explains what Medicaid views as non-exempt assets and discusses the asset limits for a single or widowed applicant in both Illinois and Missouri.

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Both Illinois and Missouri draw the same distinction between what tangible personal property is and what luxury personal property is when is comes to Medicaid eligibility and determining what falls under the set asset limits for each state and what doesn’t. The good news is tangible personal property, or necessary items, is exempt from the asset limit. So, what exactly falls under tangible personal property?

In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois Elder Law attorney, continues with the series What You Can and Can’t Keep with Medicaid and discusses the difference between tangible personal property and luxury personal property, and how Medicaid views each in terms of eligibility.

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Having IRAs and other retirement assets can give us peace of mind that we have provided for our future, usually offering us great tax benefits, as well. But, when it comes to Medicaid eligibility, these retirement assets aren’t looked at the same way. Specifically in Illinois and Missouri, IRAs and other retirement assets are treated the same as other financial assets, subjecting them to asset limits and, if the planning is done at the last minute, potentially producing a large tax liability.

In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois Elder Law attorney, continues with the series What You Can and Can’t Keep with Medicaid and discusses how Illinois and Missouri treat IRAs and other retirement assets, consistent with Medicaid eligibility, and offers advice on why planning for these assets earlier vice later may give you the best options for protecting your retirement savings.
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